EU Council approves Morocco trade deal to include Western Sahara
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU Member States have today approved the proposed amendment to the Trade Protocol with Morocco to include occupied Western Sahara, in spite of the lack of consent from the people of the territory - as ordered by the EU Court of Justice. The European Parliament is yet to cast its vote.
The European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal in October.
“By adopting the Commission’s proposal to amend the EU Morocco agreement in order to cover products from the illegally occupied Western Sahara, it’s “Plunder on the Council dance floor”. I deplore that the Member States have hit a new moral and legal low. I count on the European Parliament to bring some legality to our dealings with Western Sahara and to reject the deal in the autumn. EU credibility and UN peace efforts are at stake”, said Florent Marcellesi, MEP for the Greens/EFA group in the EU Parliament.
Since you're here.... WSRW’s work is being read and used more than ever. But our financial situation is tough. Our work takes time, dedication and diligence. But we do it because we believe it matters – and we hope you do to. If everyone who reads our website or likes us on Facebook, would contribute to our work – 3€, 5€, 27€ … what you can spare – the future of WSRW would be much more secure. You can donate to WSRW in less than a minute here.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.